Overview of the problem

This question is about 90 ECTS credits and a 2 years long MSc in CSE program with a thesis.

At the university, which I am in, the teachers deliver lectures but most students, including me, don't understand anything. There is also no room for asking questions as the teachers consider asking questions as an interruption in the lectures.

In addition to that, the lectures don't correspond to the prescribed books. Imagine, going home after listening and taking down notes from lectures, and then finding either different terminologies or different arrangements of chapters or different themes of the book altogether. Also, teachers cite/refer to lengthy and huge books which most students, including me, don't either understand or don't have time to read as it is literally impossible to read such huge books in a 4-months semester.

Therefore, what we do is, contact senior students and collect sample old questions or notes from them. Sometimes students go to private tutors. We also listen to YouTube video tutorials which are much more effective and helpful than our university lectures. This has been going on for years in our faculty from one batch of students to another.

Therefore, I am confused about the purpose of lectures at the university.

Main question

What is the purpose of lectures at the Graduate level? Is it:

  1. to explain something to make it easy to understand to the students?
  2. to just make the topic familiar to the students (with no intention of making it easier to understand)?
  3. to outline the syllabus?
  4. or something else?

Note: I am adding two examples of how the quality of lectures directs the learning curve of a student.

  1. American Literature by Dr, Cyrus Patel at NYU
  2. American Literature by Ayesha Iqbal Vishwamohan at IIT Madras

Anyone who watches the above two video lectures are able to perceive the difference. The 2nd lecture seems to be all over the place which is evident from the confused looks of the students.

  • 2
    Needs more context. What type of degree program is it? In what subject? If what you are saying is true, it sounds like the lectures in your program are pretty useless. I certainly believe some lecturers are this bad but I have a hard time believing all the professors in a department are this bad. Jun 27, 2021 at 14:37
  • 1
    I agree with @setholopolus. I've attended 4 graduate programs and, with the exception of 2 or 3 classes out of several dozen, each had a specific textbook assigned (although maybe 1 out of 5 or 6 of these classes didn't follow the text much at all) -- e.g. Ahlfors for complex analysis, Royden for real analysis, Hungerford for algebra, just to name three. I realize graduate math in the U.S. may be different from your situation, but that's why you need to give more context. Jun 27, 2021 at 15:19
  • @setholopolus, This is about CSE. This is 90 ECTS credits and a 2years long MSc program with a thesis. What else do u want to know?
    – user366312
    Jul 2, 2021 at 21:53


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